manankalra, Author at Sportzwiki

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Jose Mourinho Jos Mourinho
Jose Mourinho congrats Juventus over the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus Move will Improve Serie A’ – Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus move will improve the Italian League, Serie A.

Mourinho congratulates Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo had joined Juventus from Real Madrid in a league-record transfer worth €112 million, strengthening a team that had already won the past seven league titles.

The last coach to lead the other side other than Juve to the title was Mourinho. He guided Inter Milan to the historic league, the cup and Champions League treble in 2010; and he also congratulated Juventus on their signing with Ronaldo.

“The most competitive league at the moment is the the Champions League.  But a lot of people are going to be watching Serie A for Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain for [Lionel] Messi,” he told TeleRadioStereo. Serie A has now become one of the best leagues in the world”. 

“In football, anything can change. If Inter, Napoli, Roma and AC Milan change their views, as long as they don’t just passively accept that Juve are now stronger with Ronaldo, then [the league] can change in terms of quality, emotions and attention. This is why I compliment Juve for this signing, which is great for them in terms of football, publicity and marketing.”

Ronaldo’s departure to hurt Sapin

Whereas, on the other side, the president of Atletico Madrid, Enrique Cerezo, told Radio Marca that Ronaldo’s departure would not benefit Spain.

“It isn’t a good thing,” he said. “La Liga is the best in the world and having the stars play in La Liga is super important. We hope that there will be another star, but there are few like Ronaldo, few like Messi.” 

Juventus had already reached the finals of the Champions League twice in the last four years, and Roma somehow managed to reach the semifinal last season.

According to the UEFA’s change in format; four Italian sides will be in the group stage in the coming season including Inter Milan, a team Mourinho would be happy to meet with Manchester United in the group stages.

“I’d like to come back [to Italy] to play in the Champions League,” he said. “Maybe it will happen in the group stage, against Inter or Juve.”

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez has joined Manchester City.
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Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez Completes a Move to Manchester City

In January, after seeing a bid getting rejected for him, Premier League champions, Manchester City have already made Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City their first big by signing winger Mahrez for this season.

Mahrez leaves Leicester for Manchester City

The defending champions have completed the signing of the winger for £60 million (€68m/$80m) on Tuesday. The 27-year old has joined hands with Pep Guardiola side for five years after the two finally came to agree.

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola, Mahrez told the club’s website.

Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game, and I wanted to be a part of it.

“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.” 

Earlier, the reports suggested the deal has finally been done, and both the parties have come to a settlement. However, Mahrez was pretty close to joining Man City. They made an offer on the last day of the transfer window in January, this year. And apparently, he submitted a transfer request to foxes.

Although the former Premier League winners rejected the bid and City backed out, Pep Guardiola suggested they would return afterward for Mahraz in summer.

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

And Txiki Begiristain, Manchester City’s Director of Football, said he is delighted to have finally captured one of the best players in the English top flight.

“Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space,” he said. “Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players.

“We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”

Riyad Mahrez had joined the former team Leicester City in January 2014. He had definitely helped them get the first place in the championship.

Post two years, he gained the title of (PFA) Player of the year by scoring 17 goals, and the further count went up to ten more when they won the Premier League title a couple of years back.

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil didn't leave an impact at the FIFA World Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Arsene Wenger Discloses Why Arsenal Star Flopped for Germany

Germany’s attacking midfielder, Mesut Ozil failed to leave an impact at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s ex-manager has pointed out the reason for that.

As Germany could not even make it to the top 16 and crashed out in the group stages itself, the result bought disappointment to the country.

Mesut Ozil
Germany’s midfielder Mesut Ozil had failed to deliver during the FIFA World Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

It was a shame not to see the defending champions finishing bottom of a group comprising Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

Ozil landed in hot waters

Arsene Wenger says he could see the lack of heart put in by the midfielder, Ozil in Russia which eventually resulted in his side getting knocked out the round of 16. Wenger was further worried about the form of Ozil, and also the backlash he and his teammates faced post the World Cup exit.
Also, the duo of Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan were pictured with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the World Cup had begun. However, the incident had led some of the Germany fans calling for their exclusion from the national team as well.

During the event in Russia, Toni Kroos’ late goal saw Germany beat Sweden 2-1, their only win in the tournament. Apart from that, they had faced defeats at the hands of Mexico and Korea.

He further said, “I know Ozil well, he’s an exceptional football player but him and Gundogan suffered from what happened before the World Cup,” he told beIN SPORTS 

“They have been vindicated in Germany when Ozil is a guy who needs support. He doesn’t need controversy. When I watched him play I could feel that there were situations in the game where he could have moved forward, progressed, played more vertically. 

Speaking of Mesut Ozil, the attacking midfielder would be playing for Arsenal this season. With few of the new signings happening every day, the German star would be hopeful of the club gaining success in times to come.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to join Italian club, Juventus from Real Madrid. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Gianluigi Buffon Believes Cristiano Ronaldo Can Join Juventus

According to the reports Cristiano Ronaldo is nearing a move to Itlay champions; Juventus and Gianluigi Buffon somehow won’t be much surprised if that happens.

According to Gianluigi, it wouldn’t be much of taking aback moment if Ronaldo joins hands with the famous football club.

With the number of reports pouring in, Ronaldo is linked to a breathtaking €100million move from UCL champions, Real Madrid this summer.

Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon.

Ronaldo likely to Join Juventus

It is expected that Ronaldo’s arrival would come soon enough after Buffon’s departure. Meanwhile, the former goalkeeper has signed up with PSG. The 4-year old who had featured in more than 500 league appearances with Juventus says;

“Ronaldo joining the club Juventus would come as no surprise to him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ronaldo at Juventus,” he told Sky Sport on Monday. “It would make me happy because it is what the Juventus world needs, to find new idols and adore them.”

Buffon says Goodbye to Juventus

Buffon had taken his way out from Juventus in May; having being agonised by Ronaldo in the previous two seasons.

In 2017/18 season, Ronaldo had scored three times against Juventus. To eliminate them in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Having netted a double against the Italian side in the 2017 decider; Buffon said it was those goals, and not Ronaldo potentially joining the club after his departure, that hurt.

The legendary goalkeeper further added it bothers him that Ronaldo scored those two goals against him in the final and the ones that he got last season, he said jokingly.

The 40-year old goalkeeper has accepted he won’t get a chance to play with the star player Rolando, even though he didn’t admit it. But we’re quite sure it will be a sad separation for Gigi Buffon.

Arthur
Brazilian midfielder Arthur has joined FC Barcelona on a six-year deal. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Transfer Latest: FC Barcelona Signs the Phenomenal Brazilian Kid, Arthur!

Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, popularly known as Arthur, is a talented midfielder from Brazil who stands out for his passing game and recently has found a new club to take part at.

The Brazilian wonderkid lands at Barcelona

FC Barcelona has finally completed the signing of Grêmio attacker, Arthur for €40m. According to the reports, the 21-year old has recently signed a deal for the next six years, and his buy-out clause is set to be 400 million euros.

Talking of Arthur, the attacking midfielder likes playing with quick touches and short triangulating passes involving his teammates.

Arthur
Arthur

Recently, FC Barcelona had released Paulinho on loan, post-Brazil’s exit from the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. The defensive midfielder returned to the Chinese Super League where he had to ply his trade for three years.

Also, by the end of last season, one of Barcelona’s greatest players, Andres Iniesta had bid adieu in a bid to find success in Japan.

Also Read: Transfer News: PSG Makes €270m Offer for Barcelona Midfielder Coutinho

Arthur is an exciting prospect

The Brazilian midfielder had joined Germio in the year 2010 from the lower-league side, Goias Esporte Clube. Later, he got lucky enough to make his first-team debut at the age of 18, under former Brazil manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2015.

Even in the past, the star kid got called-up by the Brazilian side but he didn’t get to play. Also, Arthur didn’t get picked in the squad for the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Barcelona’s much-awaited star player has finally joined them. Meanwhile, the fans are hopeful to see him doing wonders here with Messi and the rest of the teammates.

The midfielder had also helped Gremio win Brazil’s equivalent of the FA Cup, the Copa do Brasil, in 2016 and South America’s Champions League – the Copa Libertadores – in 2017.

Also, he got crowned for his country at U17 and U20 stages. The Brazilian also has become the Blaugrana’s first signing of the summer.

Coutinho
Coutinho switched from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Transfer News: PSG Makes €270m Offer for Barcelona Midfielder Coutinho

According to the recent reports, Paris Saint-German (PSG) has made a bid of €270 million (£238m/$317m) for Barcelona’s midfielder, Coutinho.

Coutinho’s contract has a €400m (£353m/$470m) release clause. But PSG has decided to offer to one of the former midfielder’s agents from Liverpool; to be further transmitted to Barcelona.

Coutinho
Coutinho switched from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Neymar-Coutinho to reunite?

Neymar, who was bought by PSG last summer shares quite a good bond with Coutinho. And the French side would plan to reunite the pair in an exorbitant offer to keep the Brazil winger at the club, amidst interest from the Champions League winners, Real Madrid.

But according to the recent reports from Cadena COPE, Real Madrid have somehow concluded against making a move for PSG sensation, Kylian Mbappe in the summer transfer window whom Madrid was monitoring.

Meanwhile, Madrid were looking at the potential replacements for Juventus who recently targeted Christiano Ronaldo. But Mbappe was not someone whom they want to bring in the first go. Paris Saint-Germain did have an initial approach which was made in a stunning move to land Philippe Coutinho.

PSG keen to the Brazilian’s services

Coutinho
PSG has made an offer
to get Coutinho and Neymar on the same board at the club. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Despite all odds and the financial crunch, the French club was backed up by Qatar. And it was indicated by them that they were all prepared to buy Brazil star wages close to world record sum Neymar receives in Paris.

While there has been no approach made yet to Barcelona by PSG, they have taken the initiative on player’s interests in a move. And that happened soon after his move of £140million from Liverpool to Barcelona last January.

So far Coutinho’s performance in the previous matches had been outstanding, and maybe this must have been the reason, PSG didn’t think twice before biding on a player like him. He’s had a good time with Barcelona, and we’re sure the Brazilian midfielder will get missed by the rest of the players from Barcelona and his fans.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to not get a farewell if he leaves Real Madrid. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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Read Madrid Doesn’t Plan to Give a Farewell to Cristiano Ronaldo if he Leaves

It was shocking news for not only the fans but the rest of the world to know about Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire to leave Real Madrid after winning the third consecutive Champions League 2017/18. Italian club, Juventus are the front-runner to bag the forward’s services.

Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus is likely to bag the services of Cristiano Ronaldo. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The star player shattered the dreams of his loved ones by unexpectedly signing up with a team like Juventus, as per rumours. The least one could have thought with a player like Ronaldo and the transfer stories coming up is that it would be gossip and it would be over; until this time.

Was it justified to leave to leave Real?

It has been one of the most expensive transfers with £88m in the history of football for the 33-year old Ronaldo.

But what was the need to leave a team like Real Madrid? Many fingers are pointing towards the club president, Florentino Perez; who is said to have fallen out with the Madrid talisman over a pay dispute.

Ronaldo wanted to equalize with the counterparts of Lionel Messi and Neymar in a new deal. But he was turned down by the president Perez.

According to the recent reports, the duo is not even been in the talking terms anymore. And in Ronaldo’s case of departure, the European Champions have already accepted the surprising change in the policy. According to Sport, Los Blancos has refused any farewell party for a player like Ronaldo and will have no special plans for him even in the coming future.

The club will have no plans to even bid adieu to the Portuguese star because of his rude behaviour. The ex-Manchester United star, CR7 is as desperate as any other player and wants to take things as smooth as possible.

The player is also expected to make a short clip of himself of his farewell, and post it on the social media soon.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane would lead his side against Sweden on Sunday for the Quarterfinals game of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
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FIFA World Cup 2018: England Enters QF; Defeats Columbia in Penalties

England breaks penalties deadlock

Eric Dier’s winning hit in the penalty shootout against Columbia ignited wild celebrations from England football fans as the Three Lions made it to the quarterfinals of FIFA World Cup 2018.

Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford’s save helped England beat Columbia in the round of 16’s at FIFA World Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

At this uncontrolled happy moment, former star players Lee Dixon, Ian Wright along with Gary Neville met England manager Gareth Southgate who recalled fit-again attacking midfielder Dele Alli.

Southgate had made nine changes for Tuesday’s World Cup second-round clash with Colombia, and eventually, the call did pay. Colombia, on the other hand, had to leave out their star player, James Rodriguez, as he is yet to regain match-fitness. Jefferson Lerma was instead in the playing XI.

ANOTHER CLIFF-HANGER OF A MATCH!

It was surely a heartbreak for Columbia who did play well but failed to cross the winning line, and thus gave England a chance to break the jinx and win the game on the penalties. For the Three Lions, it was captain Harry Kane who scored a penalty before Yerry Mina equalized with a header in the dying minutes of the game.

After surfacing extra thirty minutes on the field, it all went down to the penalties. It was then heartbreak for Colombia, and joy for England.

England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Ever since the year 2006, team England didn’t make it to the quarter-finals. Even in the early stages of the FIFA World Cup 2018, they have made a positive impression.

What future holds for England?

It’s a brilliant opportunity for the team to go a step ahead and write their destiny. Watching the other teams, it was a completely different scenario.
Harry Kane
Harry Kane would lead his side against Sweden on Sunday for the Quarterfinals game of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
But maybe the luck favored the team England, and they finally made it through the top 16 to the quarterfinal by scoring and winning against the Columbians.
After seeing such unpredictable results in rest of the previous matches; maybe most of the England fans would have given up on their dreams, of seeing their country qualify for the top 16. And we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t have been an easy journey for the team all this while. Now, the Harry Kane-led side will face Sweden on the 7th of July 2018.
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FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia vs Denmark Match Preview

Croatia can no longer be considered a darkhorse at this tournament. The Vatreni dominated Group D. Which was after all labelled the group of death ahead of the tournament, by beating Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland without any problems. 

Croatia’s 3-0 win over Argentina was, in particular, impressive. The Vatreni led by playmaker Luka Modrić and by a fast and flexible attacking line uncorked Argentina; scoring three goals to surprise the world and create one of the biggest crisis in Argentine football.

In the past, however, such a result would have had a dangerous knock-on effect. One of the most talented sides in the world Croatian coaches have always struggled to turn the Vatreni into a unite. It is, therefore, surprising that it was the relative unknown head coach Zlatko Dalić – he coached in Albania and Saudi Arabia before taking the job – that now seems to get the best out of this unit.

“We have achieved our first goal but we want more, and we can achieve more”; Dalić told the media this week. “The match against Denmark is going to be a moment of truth”, Dalić cautioned those who were overly euphoric after strong performances in the group.

Croatia, after all, has been here before. Many times in the past the Vatreni were considered among the favourites to win the title and there are many football betting tips out there that can help you make a bet on Croatia. But only once at the 1998 FIFA World Cup did the country manage to survive until the final weekend to finish third. “We have to be careful and shouldn’t underestimate Denmark,” Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebić warned ahead of the match on Sunday.

Denmark, in the meantime, survived Group C, which also included France, Australia and Peru, after a controversial 0-0 draw against France on matchday 3. Knowing that goalless tie would be enough to see both teams advance the two countries played each other to a standstill and then made very little effort to achieve a positive result.

Finishing second in what was a problematic group is an excellent achievement for Denmark. “Of course, the game was not tasty for the spectators. It wasn’t entertaining at all. But we advanced that is the only thing that matters. We don’t have players like France, Spain or Germany we have to make due with what we got,” Denmark defender Jannik Vestergaard told kicker in an interview after the match.

“The quarterfinal is a realistic goal”, Vestergaard added in the interview. But Denmark will have to improve their performances from the group stage if they want to beat a talented Croatia side. Because unlike France the Vatreni will go into the match with a clear goal to dominate and break down a Danish side that at times seems to lack creative impulses.

For Croatia, this will be a statement game. Go through, and the Balkan nation will have arrived among the candidates to win the World Cup. Given the talent available and the way, the country has been performing the Danes should provide only a small obstacle to the next round.

Croatia vs Denmark – Players to look out for:

Luka Modrić #10 – Croatia (Real Madrid)

The battle of the number tens will be an interesting feature of this match. Croatia’s number ten, Luka Modrić, has been one of the biggest stars of this tournament. Enormously talented Modrić sometimes flies under the radar when it comes to naming the best players in the world. But the Real Madrid midfielder is a game changer, someone who with one pass or one shot can turn an entire match on its head. In Madrid he sometimes gets lost among the many stars and for Croatia, in the past, he was sometimes tasked with doing too much. Dalić, however, has somewhat changed his role moving him further up the field to free Modrić from defensive tasks, which in turn has allowed Modrić to focus on the more creative aspects of the game.

Christian Eriksen #10 – Denmark (Tottenham)

Christian Eriksen, in the meantime, will be Denmark’s counter-weight to Luka Modrić. Like Modrić Erkisen has been a breakout player for Tottenham but unlike Modrić it appears that the North London club will be able to hang on to their playmaker. There are some other parallels, however, between Modrić and Eriksen. Both are very important for their respective countries where they also take a much bigger role than in their respective club teams. Eriksen, in fact, was Denmark’s leading goalscorer throughout the qualification phase of the tournament. Hence, like Modrić for Croatia Eriksen has a more attacking role for Denmark in comparison to his club position and the Danish number ten will, therefore, be one of the most dangerous players on the pitch on Sunday night.

Croatia vs Denmark – Match Stats

  • Croatia and Denmark are meeting for the sixth time. Both teams have won two of the previous five matches.
  • This is only the second time the two countries meet at a major tournament. Croatia beat Denmark at the group stage of Euro 1996.
  • Six of the seven goals Croatia scored at this World Cup were scored in the second half. Five out of Croatia’s last six shots on net led to goals scored.

Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Croatia vs Denmark – 3-1

Croatia vs Denmark – Lineups

Croatia:

Formation: 4-1-4-1

Subasić – Strinić, Lovren, Vida, Vrsaljko – Brozović – Rebić, Rakitić, Modrić, Perišić – Mandžukić

Head Coach: Zlatko Dalić

Denmark:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Schmeichel – Stryger Larsen, M. Jørgensen, Kjær, Dalsgaard – Delaney, Christensen, Eriksen – Sisto, Cornelius, Braithwaite

Head Coach: Age Hareide

FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain and Russia to face each other for the knockout.
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FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain and Russia to face each other for the knockout.

Spain only managed one clean sheet in the group stage, in a 1-0 win over Iran. Fernando Hierro’s side conceded five goals in the other two matches.

Russia, meanwhile, scored eight in their first two but were shutout against Uruguay.

The Round of 16 continues on Sunday with hosts Russia facing Spain at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Spain pipped Portugal to the summit of Group B, finishing above their Iberian by virtue of having scored one more goal. The two sides both ended the group stages with five points and a goal difference of +1.

Spain’s only win in the group stage was a 1-0 victory over Iran. La Furia Roja was held to a 2-2 draw by Morocco in their last match; although it could’ve been a lot worse than that. The 2010 winners were 2-1 down before former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas scored in second-half stoppage time to claim a vital point for Spain.

Russia finished as runners-up in Group A; picking up six points in their three matches. After convincing wins against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the hosts were stunned in a 3-0 defeat to Uruguay in their final group match.

Make or break

Should the side be level after 90 minutes, extra-time and penalties, if need be, will follow. Spain has a 57 percent win ratio in shootouts.

Spain has never lost to Russia in six previous meetings, winning four and drawing two. The two sides played out a 3-3 draw in their last encounter in 2017. Fyodor Smolov and Sergio Ramos both scored braces in the match; with Aleksei Miranchuk and Jordi Alba scoring the other two goals.

The winners of Sunday’s clash will face one of Croatia or Denmark in the Quarter-finals in Sochi.

Spain

Rumors have been floating around that Hierro intends to drop goalkeeper David De Gea. Despite winning Manchester United’s player of the season award four times in a row; his clanger against Portugal has not been forgotten.

With Pepe Reina a doubt, Athletic stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga could start between the sticks.

One of Marco Asensio and Iago Aspas is expected to come in for David Silva.

Saul Niguez is expected to start alongside Sergio Busquets in midfield. The latter one booking away from a suspension.

Russia 

After picking up an injury in their opening match, Alan Dzagoev has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament.

Igor Smolnikov is suspended following his red card against Uruguay; meaning Mario Fernandes should return to the starting eleven.

Aleksandr Golovin, Fedor Smolov, and Yuri Gazinskiy are all one booking away from a ban.